Sunday, October 31, 2010

Half-Assed Halloween

 "Anything can happen on Halloween . . . your sister could turn into a bat" ~ Tim Curry

Happy All Hallow's Eve, folks. I can't believe it's already the last day of October. We were supposed to take Q to the pumpkin patch, weren't we? We were supposed to carve pumpkins, me thinks. We were supposed to make a creative and uber-cute costume for our little monster. Well, with T working a ton of overtime and me working two full-time jobs (Q definitely qualifies as full-time), these traditional Halloween rituals sort of fell to the wayside. I know, excuses. I admit that Halloween has never been my favorite holiday. I do love scary movies and I'm never one to pass on a "fun size" candy bar, but we've established here before that I'm not crafty and I think Halloween is all about flashing your crafty side.

Instead, Q will don a generic Darth Vader costume that's a size too small, with a hat he refuses to keep on. We're sort of trying to put a creative spin on it by making him MC Vader, but so far he's not digging the gold chains either. We're taking him to a party with our friends. Fortunately, he thinks they're all there for his amusement.

I wish I had more motivation to make this a fun holiday for Q. I tell myself he won't really remember this Halloween anyway. There's always next year, right? To become a better parent, I mean.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mamasay Memories: Girly Fun

"Oh, girls just wanna have fu-un" ~ Cyndi Lauper

I miss my mom in countless ways. I really could go and on listing all of the things I miss about her. She was the perfect mom for me and my sister. Truly. Nothing and no one can fill the enormous hole her passing has left in my life. But as the song goes, I get by with a little help from my friends.

I figure a nice way to keep her thriving in spirit is to share memories from time to time. I understand that people feel uncomfortable broaching the subject of my mom for fear of upsetting me. But I love to talk about her. It's not painful for me on most days, and if it's hard to talk about, I will tell you. And if I end up crying a bit, that's okay too. She was such a positive force in my life and in the lives of all she encountered, it brings me more joy than sorrow to remember her. The sheer number of people who attended her viewing blew me away, but it revealed how loved she was and what a positive impact she had made. And that I wasn't just a biased daughter who thought the sun shone out of her mom's ass eyes.

One of the things I miss most about my mom? We used to have this time together we called "girly fun." It probably started when I was in middle school. I was having friend drama, feeling so uncool and worthless -- as we all do at that age -- and she kept me sane. Not only sane, she kept me smiling. The name "girly fun" is somewhat misleading because we didn't do a spa day or go shopping or do each other's hair and makeup. We did that stuff sometimes too, but our girly fun was simpler. We would just curl up in my bed and gossip and talk and vent and giggle. I'm sure I did the majority of the venting, but, boy, did we love to talk! My dad would peak into my room on occasion and ask what we were doing, and we would say, in unison, "We're having girly fun," and crack ourselves right up. He would roll his eyes and move on. But it was the best. The best! We had these moments throughout high school, when I'd come home on breaks from college, and even in her last years when she was sick. I would crawl into bed with her. We would talk and talk and then take a nap together.

I hope I can always have that sort of cozy, safe time with Q and with his future sibling (no, I'm not pregnant -- but if things go as planned, he will one day have a sibling). Not girly fun necessarily, but just that sense of security and warmth. Cozy fun maybe? Of all the lovely gifts my mom had given me, girly fun was one of the best. And it's one I'd love to pass on.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Darling Decals

"They come, they come to build a wall between us" ~ Crowded House

So, remember back when I was complaining about the lackluster walls at Guido? Yeah, still haven't done anything about them. I'm very indecisive when it comes to displaying art. And when it comes to just about everything else, but that's besides the point.

I've been perusing Etsy for wall art again and came across these cool wall decals. Has anyone tried them before? I've never seen anything like them in person, which makes the idea of them all the more appealing. They're supposed to look like they were stenciled and painted onto the wall, but really it's just a matte vinyl. And apparently they're easy to remove. That's where I get skeptical. Anyway, I like!

Here are a few that I'm considering.

Cute for Q's room, yes?
From WowWall

For our family room or living room, which both have very tall ceilings so there is a ton of wall space. You can select the color of the tree and one or two shades for the blossoms.

From walldecors

These starbursts would be perfectly mod and dreamy in our bedroom.

From urbanwalls

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Flyrish 'Fit

"You know my steez" ~ Gangstarr

I'm going to try something new on my blog. Most of you already know that I love clothes and shoes and all things fashion. But the world of fashion bloggers can be very intimidating. I adore looking at their editorial photos, their expert mix of high/low fashion, and their youthful glow, but at this point in my life, I don't think I have the time, energy, photographer boyfriend, lack of under-eye circles, or, more importantly, standout style to ever count myself as one of them. Anyway, I have no problem writing about fashion. It's revealing photos of myself in my clothes that makes me feel, well, silly.

But I have been inspired by one of my favorite bloggers to post an outfit that I feel is representative of my uniquely Flyrish brand of style. Now, I don't know how unique I really am since I do love to follow a good trend now and again. I'd like to think that I'm not a slave to fashion, but I always want to be current or a step ahead if possible, yet find what works for me. Or what I think works for me. I mean, I know I am far from a model when I'm 5'3" on a good day, can't smize for the life of me, and my clothes are often accessorized with Q-inflicted stains. Sheesh, can you tell that I'm not in my comfort zone?

Anyway. Let's break out of my blog's comfortable bubble.

I wore this to a friend's birthday party. The dress was a great find at H&M -- my go-to store for trendy-yet-versatile items on the cheap. The boots are from Aldo and the tights are Urban Outfitters. The fish charm necklace is vintage and the long necklace (added later) was made by my dear friend Lisa, designer of Piecemaker Jewelry. Love her stuff to pieces.

Also, fresh haircut and color! Getting used to bangs all over again is somehow not as easy as it seems. I want to try styling my hair in messy bob fashion a la Alexa Chung. Such a mom-friendly style but not mom hair. And that, my friends, is the gist of my style lately. Trying to be chic and not look like the stereotypical mom while still being comfortable. I don't always succeed, but I try.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Major Mom Moment

"We are young, heartache to heartache we stand, no promises, no demands, love is a battlefield" ~ Pat Benatar

How do you know you're the world's best mom?

When you have been too lazy to fully childproof your bathroom and your toddler grabs an eye pencil sharpener from your drawer, proceeds to slice his finger on it, and then bleeds all over the house. All over several of his toys. All over the cream carpet. And you realize how long he was bleeding while you were on the computer, as throughout the day you discover more blood stains. Serious award-winning mom stuff right there.

I thought about taking pictures of the bloody toys, but I don't want to frighten people off. I must cling desperately to my 20 followers. Although it would be kind of apropos for this time of year. Toddler Frightfest 2010! Blood-smeared dumptrucks! Blood-stained stacking cups!

The best part about it all is that Q kept running over to where I was sitting, grabbing my hand, and bringing me over to show me the toys. All the while doing this strange laugh and saying, "No, no, no." He's a mischievous, little imp, that one. He also hates wearing a band-aid.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Q's Crowning Glory: Our Birth Story, Part 2 of 2

For Part 1, please go here

"And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire . .. the ring of fire" ~ Johnny Cash

January 7th, 2009; 9:55pm:
Dr. Grossman:        Okay, you are fully dilated and we're ready to start pushing!

Me:            Thank God!

Felicia:       You're going to need to hold your legs up.

Me:            Seriously? I can't stop shaking.

Dr. Grossman:    That's perfectly normal. You can do this.

I am flanked by T and Felicia. Everyone is ready to go. Especially our little guy. Biggest deep breath I've ever inhaled and now to hold and push . . .

My body is burning up, but the real fire is centered all in one place. Guess where! The world around me goes fuzzy.

Dr. Grossman:       Here comes the head! You're doing great. Do you want to feel it? We can get a mirror, too.

Me:            Um . . . um, okay. I don't want to see it, though!

Felicia:       You should look at this, Toby!

I am in the most surreal place as I reach down to feel my almost-born baby crowning. My legs trembling, breath ragged. I touch the head for an instant, wanting to deliver this baby already. The feel hardly registers. I want to see this baby and hold this baby, not feel its head! I start pushing again. I did not know I could push with such intensity. Then I swear I hear a thud from Toby's jaw hitting the floor as our son's head fully emerges.

Dr. Grossman:      One more big push, Micheline.

Me:           Hhhuuuuuuuuggggghhhhh

Felicia:       So good, almost there! He's coming!

Dr. Grossman:       Here he comes! He's a big, healthy boy!

[the incredible sound of our baby crying softly]

Toby:        Oh my god.

Me:          [whimpering] [laughing] [whimpering]

Felicia:      Did you want to cut the cord, Toby?

Toby cuts the cord and they place him right on my chest. I am in another world. I can't believe I am finally holding my little boy. My whole body is still trembling. A combination of adrenaline and overwhelmed emotions. He is looking up at me, searching for me. Searching for comfort and nourishment. The golden light in the room reveals the warm accents in his hair. I can already see some of his daddy in him. Toby clasps my arm and bends close to me as we gaze at him in wonder. Were you really just inside me, little guy?

Before we know it, our newborn is whisked off to be cleaned and measured and weighed. Toby gets to watch everything and look at our boy from every angle. I get to deliver the placenta. Our baby sucks on Toby's finger. I get stitches from some minor tearing. I am still overflowing with adrenaline. I am overjoyed. We did it! He's here! My body is exhausted, but I am very awake. I can't believe it happened so quickly. And I did it. I am so proud of myself.

He is 8 pounds, 3 ounces. I was the exact same weight when I was born. He is 21.5 inches long. He is tall! And everything looks normal. He is healthy. I breathe the biggest sigh I have ever breathed.


My parents come in as I am nursing our son for the first time. It is amazing. Completely unreal. My mom can't hold back her tears. Nor can I. We talk about his hair. How beautiful and perfect he is.

Me:         He looks like Toby, right?

Mom:      He really does!

Dad:        Does he have a name yet?

We say we have narrowed it down to a couple of possibilities, but we're not sure yet. Maybe we'll sleep on it.

Felicia hangs around to see that I'm doing okay with breastfeeding. I'm getting the hang of it. We thank her -- not enough, there's just no way to express how much she has helped us. She has ushered us into the world of parenthood in the most peaceful way imaginable.

January 8th, 2009:

Our boy's first day of life has been dreamlike. He has slept a lot. His temperature is always on the cool side when they come to take his vitals. We cuddle skin-to-skin. We decide that this baby needs a name that reflects just how cool he is. Kye is my cousin's name and the first person who responded when I texted that our little guy had arrived. He was meant to have his name. Toby sends off an email announcement with Q's first photo.

Welcome to the world, Quincy Kye! Please be good to your parents -- they're new to this game and are figuring it out as they go along. Try not to beat them up too much, and they promise to only pummel you with kisses and love.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This is My Confession

Today I have the very special honor of guest posting at one of my favorite blogs to visit, Depressions and Confessions. Alexis is witty and thought-provoking and smart. Even though I'm older than her, I look up to her. Possibly because she seems wise beyond her years. She recently has had some controversial posts with some awesome discussions. What I admire most about her is she can gracefully and eloquently speak her mind, and I don't always agree with her but I always respect her opinion.

Please visit me over at her blog, give me a little comment love, and definitely check out the rest of her blog. Believe me, it's worth it.

And for those of you visiting Flyrish Foibles for the first time, welcome! Peruse my favorites page for some posts that will reveal a little bit more about me and this here blog. And thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Q's Crowning Glory: Our Birth Story, Part 1 of 2

"'Cause I've got my strength, and it don't make sense not to keep on pushin'" ~ The Impressions

Sometimes I procrastinate. Case in point: I have been meaning to write down Q's birth story for, oh, about 21 months now. I think I have dreaded doing so. Not because it was so horrific. But because it was the most important day of my life so far and how can I do it justice? How can I possibly capture this incredible, game-changing experience with mere words? Well, I'd like to try. So, finally, I will take you back to my stream of consciousness 21 months ago . . .

January 7, 2009; 7:48am
I wake up thinking about Milk, the movie I had watched the night before with my dear friend Autumn Skye. Definitely made an impact. And it was pretty cool to see San Francisco and the Castro depicted in the 1970's. I like Josh Brolin ... hmm, that felt like a cramp.

Urgent need to pee. That doesn't look normal.

More cramps. Am I having Braxton Hicks? Little guy isn't due for nine days and these feel pretty mild. Must be Braxton Hicks.

Researching Braxton Hicks online. I feel rather calm, so this can't be the real thing. Why doesn't anyone describe actual labor contractions in detail?! This damned Internet is useless! At least I have my OB appointment at 10:30. I can hold out until then to find out what's going on. I think . . . 

On the phone with my mom.

Me:          I think I might be having contractions, but it's too early, right?

Mom:       It might be happening!

Driving myself to doctor's office. Okay, these contractions are coming every 10 minutes or so now. My mom was right -- this might be happening. What music should I listen to? It should be something profound. I want to remember this moment. Wait, this song on the radio seems appropriate. (Of course I don't remember the song because it was 21 freakin' months ago and my memory sucks. It was probably "Blame It on the Alcohol.")

Dr. Lee:     Okay, you're 3 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. It could probably happen tonight or    tomorrow.

Me:           What should I do?

Dr. Lee:     I suggest you take a nap because you could have a long night ahead of you. Or, if you want to get things moving, you can talk a walk. Call me when your contractions are five minutes apart and a minute long. Then head to the hospital!

Me:           Aaaahhhh! (in my head; I didn't scream in the doctor's face)

On the phone with T. "Tob, it's happening! I'll call you when the contractions start getting more regular." And now I have to drive myself home, with my heart pounding out of my chest. What music to listen to? No, turn off the stereo. No, I need music. I can't decide what to listen to!

Contractions are getting a bit stronger. Anxiety. Energy coursing through my veins. A nap? HA! I think I'll throw a load of laundry in. Walking up and down the stairs should get things going. We're going to have to decide on a name soon!

I should eat something. Broccoli! With cheese! On the phone with best friend.

Me:        I can't believe this is happening!

S:           I can't believe you're able to talk to me right now. And that you're eating broccoli.

Okay, these suckers are getting stronger. Call T. "I think you should come home now."

T is packing his bag for the hospital because sometimes he procrastinates, too. I am trying to find a comfortable position on the couch while folding laundry.

Call my doula Felicia. "Just a heads up. The contractions are all over the place, but I think we'll probably go to the hospital tonight." Why didn't anyone tell me how irregular contractions could be? Using my iPhone to time them and they vary from 8 minutes apart to 3 minutes apart to 7 minutes apart to 4 minutes apart. My favorite position during a contraction is bent over the couch with my hands on the back cushion and one knee up. Toby is laying down on the love seat. We're watching Cash Cab. I've seen this one before. They're going to go for double or nothing and lose. This is just how I imagined my magical day of labor.

These contractions are never going to get regular. We'd better head to the hospital because the pressure is getting intense. Plus, Cash Cab is starting to get on my nerves. And after infinite trips to the bathroom, maybe I shouldn't have eaten that broccoli.

We made it! I'm 5 centimeters and 80% effaced. Ouch. These contractions are no longer exciting. Felicia is on her way. The grandparents are on their way!

Dr. Lee can't make it, so it will be Dr. Grossman. She has a lovely, calming bedside manner. I'm not worried. But OWWW. I sit on the birthing ball and lean against the bed. Felicia applies pressure in the perfect spot by my hips. Toby gets me some ice. We're listening to my favorite J-Rocc mixtape on Toby's iPod. I can handle this. I think.

Things are really moving along apparently. 8 centimeters. This baby is coming tonight! But there are latent heartbeats. Anxiety. I need to have oxygen. I panic a little, but try to stay focused. "Can you turn down the music? More? Turn off the music!" I hate this oxygen mask. I'm never leaving this birthing ball. I will build a little house on this birthing ball.

9-something pm
Felicia:     Okay, here we go again. Release the shoulders, release the hips, think down. Good, good.

Me:         [whimpering]

Toby:       You're doing so good, Mich.

Felicia:     Do you feel like you need to push? Does it feel like you need to go to the bathroom? It might be time.

Me:        [whimpering] Yes! Yes! I can't- I need to- I'm scared . . .

Felicia:      I'm gonna go get the doctor. Toby will be here with you.

Me:         [intense whimpering]

Toby tries to give me ice. Contractions are on top of each other at this point.

Me:         No! Did I say I wanted ice?! Do what Felicia was doing to my hips. [whimper, whimper, whimper] [tremulous MOAN]

To be continued ...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Leisure-Suited Life

"I think I want to live the sporting life . . . good times, these are the good times" ~ Chic 

Ahh, the 3-day weekend. I'm fortunate to be one of the lucky few who still gets Columbus Day (aka Native American Day of Sorrow) off. A long weekend always leaves me suitably rested and rejuvenated for work, which leads me to believe that a 4-day workweek would be ideal. Wait, let's reverse that. A 4-day weekend and 3-day workweek would be ideal. Anyway, back to this past weekend which allowed me to indulge in some favorite leisurely activities of yore. Well, my yore at least (yore = before Q).

T and I celebrated our anniversary by doing something completely unique -- dinner and a movie. We ate at an amazing Pan-American restaurant right on the water called Bocanova, which catered surprisingly well to vegetarians. The huarache flatbread was delicious and like nothing I've ever eaten, but the most drool-worthy part of the meal came at the end and we almost skipped it. Warm chocolate croissant bread pudding with Mexican chocolate ice cream. It was better than it sounds. Serious food porn going on there.

Then we saw Social Network which was genuinely fascinating and well-done. I'm still thinking about it a couple of days later, which is a pretty good sign. Like, is Mark Zuckerberg really that much of a selfish dick? Who was actually in the wrong? What ever happened to Sean Parker? There's no way he's as cute as Justin Timberlake, right? Yup, just checked. Not so cute. And how unaccomplished do I feel next to these creative geniuses? More importantly, how did this guy know that so many people (namely me) would be addicted to Facebook and not just college kids? Anyway, I won't spoil it any further for you guys. Definitely worth checking out if you're at all intrigued by social media. And if you're reading this blog, then I'm guessing you might be. Because I'm a social media expert, right? Why am I talking about this movie as if no one's heard of it?

Last night, after settling Q into bed and realizing that I could probably stay up later and catch up on some sleep during his nap 'cause woo-hoo, no work, I popped in a Netflix movie. I finally watched An Education, which was nominated for Best Picture last year. Carey Mulligan was also nominated for her role and I can see why. Plus, I love 1960's England, so the styling and the music and everything had me escaping into that world, even though it was a fairly simple movie cinematically. Mainly, it was well-written and superbly acted. And now I want to cut my bangs again and wear shift dresses with tailored wool coats.

Also, T picked up the new Mark Ronson for me when he was at Amoeba and so far so cool. If you're unfamiliar with Mark Ronson, he produced both Amy Winehouse and Lilly Allen's hit albums. His new album is called Record Collection and it's really lush, fun, and upbeat with some great guests. Including Q-Tip! My Q already loves shaking his booty to it.

Good food, movies, and music all in one weekend! It's like I traveled back in time or something. I now have hope for the future.

Friday, October 08, 2010

High Five on Five Years!

"Victoria won't be no secret at the end of the day, it's our anniversary" ~ Tony! Toni! Tone!

In front of Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Five years ago when T and I were putting the final touches on our wedding CD favor, the whole wedding event was stressing me out more than I wanted to admit. The ridiculousness of the wedding industry had gotten to me. Honestly, I was living for Costa Rica. I already knew the wedding day itself would be anticlimactic. But the honeymoon? Oh, I was counting down. And when I think back to October of five years ago, visions of table centerpieces and our special champagne flutes do not dance in my head. I think of the glorious honeymoon.


You might have guessed by now that I wasn't one of those girls who always dreamed of her perfect princess wedding. I never had a wedding wishes binder. And it's kind of surprising when I think about it since I was pretty much a girly-girl. But I was never a planner. So, when T popped the big question on my birthday in March, I knew that I wanted to just do it already and not be agonizing over the little details for over a year. We decided on a fall wedding and figured we could whip everything together in 7 months. If I had realized the frenzy this short time span would send us into, I'm sure I would have drawn out the engagement a bit more. We didn't have a whole lot of time to "enjoy the engagement" as people say -- I thought they were crazy when they suggested this. No, it was just me. I was the crazy one.

People told me my wedding day would be the happiest day of my life. It wasn't. I doubt it was the happiest day of Toby's life either. Not that we didn't have a blast with our family and friends. Not that it wasn't a beautiful, incredible memory. Not that we didn't feel the love that day. We certainly did. But there's too much pressure surrounding that day. Kind of like the pressure to have a perfect New Year's Eve party, as if it sets the tone for the rest of the year. It was a wonderful day. But not perfect. I think our marriage has improved with each passing year. In all honesty, we were going through a rough period back then. We're working up to perfection. I mean, what's the fun in starting with perfection anyway? So, I'd rather focus on how far we've come and why I love this Tobdog/Godbot guy.

We started dating in college when I was 19 and he was 18. We exchanged mixtapes. He left graffiti-inspired love drawings around my apartment. Bombed around town in the wee hours. Hey, young world -- it was a hip-hop courtship. Late night Cartoon Network provided the backdrop for our first kiss. Romantic! We spent one year living in different cities when I graduated, then knew we couldn't be apart ever again, and moved in together in SF when he graduated. Then we moved to Oakland and cosigned on a condo. We worked, and, when we could, expressed ourselves through art, dance, music, and writing. We got married after 8 years of dating. We got pregnant after 3 years of marriage. We have evolved together.

The Fam at Sly Park

Q's arrival kickstarted the next phase of our lives. We found and bought the house we hope to live in as a family forever.  And now we celebrate 5 years of marriage in our family of 3. We are different people now. But still trying to figure out our lives. Living in the moment as always but starting to look forward more and more. Still evolving.

I love my husband for infinite reasons. I will try not to induce a gagfest (too late!), but allow me this day to indulge in a bit of cheese. I love my Tobdog for always making me laugh. For knowing me better than anyone and still telling me he loves me every day. For making me feel beautiful when I need it most. For keeping me sane -- or at least attempting to. For his genuine work ethic, for working so hard for his family and for himself. For his generous spirit. For his pizza addiction that I publicly lament but secretly adore. For the yellow spot in his blue eyes. For being such an affectionate dad to Q. For lub, oil, and filter. Forever.

Happy 5 years, Tob! Here's to creating our own perfection year by year.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

21 Months: Hitting the Books, Not the Bottle

The sun rises over our heads once again as you inch closer and closer to your 2nd birthday. 21 months means only 3 more months until we stop counting the months. Until we stop celebrating the month days and stop receiving emails. We're on the pathway to boyhood. The next time you hit 21, milk may be the last thing you want in your bottle.

You point to "crucks" and "(gi)raffes" in your books. It's just another day in the life of Q.  I cherish the calmness of your quiet times. But I also revel in your growing strength and agility. I'm especially pleased when you apply your strength to something other than beating me up.

You're still my baby and you let me call you that. For now. But not for long. Quincy, it's your month day. Happy 21 month day, Quincy!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Ish My Sis-O Says: An Oldie But Goodie

"Let's get physical, physical, I want to get physical" ~ Olivia Newton-John

During our early childhood years, my mom stayed at home to care for us while my dad worked full-time. She was very involved in helping out at my school, so she would often visit the school and bring my sister along. D developed a friendship with the school principal, Mr. Linharris. She was about 2 or 3 years old and all kinds of adorable, and we already know what a character she was at that age. I'm sure she was an endless source of pleasant distraction for Mr. Linharris.

So, one day my mom goes to the school with my sis-o in tow and leaves her in the principal's office to hang out for a few minutes. After she was done doing whatever brought her to the school (probably my forgotten lunch), she scooped up my sis-o from his office and asked her what she talked to Mr. Linharris about.

D looked at my mom and said, "I told him, 'let's get physical, physical, I want to get physical, let's get into physical.'" Well, she more sang this than said it. 

My mom flushed red but couldn't help dissolving into laughter. And she was never sure if D really sang that to the principal or if she was just acting goofy with my mom. To this day, it's hard to tell if she's telling the truth or trying to entertain herself at your gullibility's expense.

And now for the classic Olivia Newton-John video. I'm not sure if it's disturbing, quintessentially '80s, softcore gay porn, or just plain cheesy. Probably a combination of the aforementioned. But it definitely makes my sister's suggestion to Mr. Linharris that much more awkward. At least it must have been for my mom. Poor Mamasay. Wherever you are, I hope you're laughing right now.